her hands

She likes to drink her coffee black

And talk about all of her cats
Who come to visit around back in the mornings

Her glassy green eyes flit from her food to my face
“Did you get enough to eat?”

I look at my plate, which overflows with a bounty of bacon, eggs, and toast

All chaperoned by butter, milk, coffee, and orange juice.

“Yes ma’am,” I reply.

I don’t drink orange juice, I can’t stand the pulp
But I gulp–
as I oblige because her hands

Her skilled, swift, withered, wonderful hands

Have woken up to hard work in the kitchen all the 21 years I’ve been alive

She mentions the birds, her eyes dancing– the latest wren, cardinal, blue jay, and swan
that passes by the double window overlooking the winding creek

She tells me about her modeling days and how she felt so wobbly within herself
as she stunned on the catwalk

She tells me about her plants
and how they’ve grown beyond their pots and how she wishes

How she wishes she could just step outside to bend and tend her roses

The ambition evaporated to a flicker of resignation as her eyes return to her hands

Her skilled, swift, withered, wonderful, beautiful hands

Hands that hold the mug of that freshly brewed bitter blackness
an arms length away from the plastic pop-open pill box

to remind her

6 for the morning and 2 and 1/2 for the evening.


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